Lancman will Challenge Turner for Congressional Seat

Lancman will Challenge Turner for Congressional Seat

After just a four-month respite, a battle for the Ninth U.S. Congressional District spanning Queens and Brooklyn is starting up again.

Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Richmond Hill) has formed an exploratory committee for a congressional run. He filed the required paperwork with the Federal Election Commission Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Lancman was already attacking Congressman Bob Turner, who won the seat in a special election in September.

“People elect a representative to go to Washington or Albany or City Hall to produce and get results, and that’s what I’m well-known for,” Lancman said. “The ‘Gee whiz, I’m here now I have to figure out what to do,’ is not really what working people in Brooklyn and Queens want.”

Lancman, a former lawyer, was first elected to the State Assembly in 2006. He said he wanted to run in the special election to replace Anthony Wiener in Congress, but party bosses overlooked him.

“What prompted me to want to run for the seat is if you look around the country—and there’s no difference in Brooklyn or Queens—life is becoming increasingly unaffordable for normal people,” he said. “We have a tax system that honors wealth and not work.”

Simply by entering the race, Lancman—with Jewish heritage and an Iranian wife—may take away some of Turners previously potent weapons.

Turner made Israel and Iran central issues in his candidacy.

“My wife, her family and the rest of the Jewish community in Iran fled the Islamic revolution, so we know a little bit about Iran,” Lanceman said.

He also referenced an op-ed he penned with former Mayor Ed Koch in 2007  pushing Democrats to take a firmer stance against Iran’s nuclear program.

“Ed and I were ahead of the curve,” Lancman said.

Koch crossed party lines to endorse Turner in September largely because Turner took strong pro-Israel, anti–nuclear Iran stances.

With redistricting in full swing, Lancman said Wednesday that he’s only waiting until lines are drawn before fully entering the race.

But fighting for the ninth district might begin before he ever officially throws his hat into the ring.

“We’re determined to not let republicans gerrymander the ninth district to protect Bob Turner from me,” he said.

By Jeremiah Dobruck


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